John Cleese on Creativity

A classic speech worthwhile of revisiting.  Comedian John Cleese on creativity, psychology, and the conditions necessary for expansive thinking.


Grad School: On surviving the lean years

Courtesy of Flickr user Images_of_Money

As we begin a new academic year, I am thinking of the many people who are about to make the transition (either from undergrad, employment, or full-time family life) to graduate school.  I have been reflecting on my own transition – in Summer 2009 – right before began my PhD program.  In that time leading into the Fall semester, I was obsessed not only my academic chops and proving my worth, but also with the logistics of A) living apart from my husband B) carrying two rent payments and C) entering a world of uncertain funding.

I was having night terrors thinking about the change, and started to concentrate on the things I felt I could anticipate and plan.  While I had little control over what the Fall would bring, I could start being proactive about finances and conscious about spending to prepare for this large economic shift I was making.

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PhD Comics: What To Call Your Professor

As the new semester starts, this classic from PhD Comics will help orient you to the awkward question, “What do I call my professor?”


GradHacker Contest: Swag for Wisdom

Image

I am sure that many of you are familiar with, if not avid readers of, GradHacker.  The online community hosted on Inside Higher Ed also covers the lived experience of the graduate researcher and academic.  For the summer, the blog quiets down (as I’m sure everyone else is recovering from the academic year).  However, they are taking the opportunity to host some interesting contests, and the most recent is one which I participated.  “Swag for Wisdom:  A Fair Exchange” asks readers to share their best advice for incoming graduate students for a chance to win some GradHacker swag.  Prize or not, I love sharing lessons learned.  So, here was my advice:

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Google Reader: Emerging from mourning

It’s been a while, Internet, but I think that we’re ready to get back on track with Research Salad.  This year has held many sidetracks and ups/downs.  However, that does not mean has left us devoid of material.  Au contraire!  This year has given we here at Research Salad a wealth of information and experiences to share with you.  From dissertation bumps to new full-time employment, we’ve all had some changes.  But, with change comes growth, and the chance to try new things.

(Excellent image of uncertain origin.  Not my own.)

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Vacation? Ha!

As we move into summer – and the theoretical vacations that could take place – this seemed an appropriate share that so many of us will recognize:

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1231

 


Are You a Google Power Searcher?

Physical Search Box by Josh Ellingson, via Flickr user WillowGarage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/willowgarage/4788324036/

While I considered myself fairly adept at online searching in general and using Google in particular, there were things lurking behind the Advanced Search options that made me balk.  Date ranges and searching within websites, but filetype?  Those colour options in the Image Search?  Some features had been added since I’d focused on mastering online searching skills (aka grad school), and while I was picking up tips and tools through Google-a-Day, I discovered that far too often, I found the answer and then moved on, without looking at the tricks recommended by Google.

So when I saw announcements last year for a free online course titled “Power Searching with Google“, it sounded like a great opportunity.  Taught by Senior Research Scientist Daniel M. Russell, the course uses online videos, exercises, and assignments to help users learn more about how to effectively and efficiently search and retrieve valuable results using Google. There were Google+ hangouts, and Google+ was used as a forum on which participants could share strategies, experiences, and insight.

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